South Korea’s women’s soccer program, which has risen to prominence in Asia and beyond, ended 2023 with a lack of backbone.
The South Korean women’s soccer team, led by head coach Colleen Bell, 62, returned home through Incheon Airport on Feb. 2. Their goal of returning home with a ticket to their first-ever Olympic Games was not realized.
South Korea drew 1-1 with China in the final Group B match of the women’s soccer second qualifying round for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at the Egrat Stadium in Xiamen, Fujian province, China. South Korea took the lead through Shim Seo-yeon (Suwon FC Wimin) in the 17th minute of the second half, but conceded a 33rd-minute equalizer from Thul to finish second in Group B (1-2) and fail to advance.
With 12 teams divided into three groups, the second round of the Paris Olympics means that the best of the first and second-place finishers in each group will advance to the quarterfinals next February, and South Korea fell behind Group A runner-up Philippines (2-1). For the fourth-year coach, it’s a moment when all bets are off.
Bell became the first foreigner to coach the South Korean women’s national team in 2019, and she has been on a roll. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, he was praised for his performance at last year’s Women’s Asian Cup runner-up finish.
In return, he was rewarded with a new contract, and was expected to deliver results at this year’s Women’s World Cup, the Hangzhou Asian Games, and the Paris Olympics.
But Bell hasn’t lived up to the hype this year. At the Women’s World Cup, her first challenge and crowning glory, she was knocked out of the tournament early with losses to Colombia (0-2) and Morocco (0-1), two of the favorites.
The Hangzhou Asian Games, where they were hoping to win their first ever title, also ended in a 1-4 loss to North Korea in the quarterfinals. Of course, the game was marred by questionable officiating, but the team’s performance was far from satisfactory. 토토사이트
It’s even more disappointing that the team’s last hope, the Olympics, was eliminated without a single loss, especially since it was a repeat of the Tokyo 2020 qualifiers, where they lost a close victory at the last minute. Our opponents were China, who were eliminated in the second game of the final qualifying round after blowing a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2. Lack of backbone is an issue that needs to be addressed, as China is the same team that came back from 2-0 down to lose 2-3 in the Asian Cup final.
Bell, who has been outspoken about the weaknesses of Korean soccer in public, is expected to keep a cool head as he prepares for next year. Bell’s contract runs until December 2024.